@60 days until Hiroshima Summit: Oyster farming

by Tomoyuki Kada, Staff Writer

Oyster is one of the specialties of Hiroshima. Thanks to an environment suitable for oyster farming, including nutrients carried by the Otagawa River which flows into the calm Seto Inland Sea, Hiroshima oysters account for about 60 percent of all the oysters produced in Japan. The method of oyster farming has changed with the times.

In the early Showa period, oysters were cultivated in Hiroshima Bay which had vast mudflats, where people made racks by driving stakes into the ground and suspended wires to collect oyster seeds and raise oysters. It was a popular method of oyster farming until the mudflats were reclaimed for industrial use as Hiroshima, then a military city, became more industrialized. Since the late 1950s, suspending strings of shell beds from rafts floating off shore has become a mainstream method of cultivation. The production of oysters increased dramatically by the establishment of this method.

(Originally published on March 20, 2023)